Cory Grenier, 21, of Old Town went missing the night of Wednesday, Nov. 10.

His body was found the next Saturday morning on rocks along the Brewer side of the Penobscot River between Maine Motel Supply and the Brewer boatyard on South Main Street.

Robert Grenier of Milford spotted his son’s lifeless body about 9 a.m. while he and other family members waited for Brewer police to arrive to continue a search called off the night before as darkness fell, his wife said Friday.

As the family struggled to cope with their loss at Thanksgiving time, the Bangor Daily News mistakenly reported that Cory Grenier was one of several people who recently jumped from bridges that span the Penobscot River.

According to the autopsy performed by the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta, Cory Grenier drowned, his step-mother and family spokeswoman, Amy Grenier, said Friday.

“This whole thing with Cory was a freak accident,” she said. “We think he somehow stumbled, fell and hit his head on a rock. He was found right where he would have been Wednesday night if he’d fallen.”

Her stepson was dropped off on South Main Street late Wednesday night by an acquaintance after a night of heavy drinking, Amy Grenier said. He was last seen about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday walking toward the riverbank.

Cory Grenier’s death was accidental and not a suicide, Brewer Police Chief Perry Antone said Sunday.

“It’s my understanding from my detectives that there was nothing suspicious about his death,” he said.

Grenier’s death came after a decade-long struggle in which his family toiled to get him the help he needed for his mental health and substance abuse problems, said Amy Grenier, a licensed counselor in Bangor.

“I guess we feel overall that we weren’t taken seriously,” she said Friday. “We, sadly, could see this coming.”

Cory’s parents divorced before he was 12, according to Amy Grenier. By his 14th birthday, he was sneaking out of his father and stepmother’s house and getting drunk. The couple took the teenager to counseling, but found the state’s privacy laws prevented them from taking part in his treatment.

“The age of consent [for mental health treatment] in Maine is 14,” she said. “I know that in some situations it’s important that teenagers be able to get help without involving their parents. In situations like ours, parents’ hands are tied because a kid refuses to get help.

“A 14-year-old also can refuse to sign the consent form that allows counselors and medical personnel to share information with parents,” she said. “Cory refused to sign the consent form. His counselor totally shut us out.”

By the time he was 16, Cory Grenier was in trouble with the law for burglary. Despite his parents’ urging that the teenager seek probation time in which mandatory counseling would be part of his sentence, the boy chose to be incarcerated at the Mountain View Youth Development Center in Charleston until he was 19.

“We trusted the system,” she said. “He did get his GED while he was there, but we have no idea whether he got any psychological testing or treatment.”

As he approached his 21st birthday this year, Cory Grenier’s drinking and drug use made it impossible for him to live with the Greniers or his mother and stepfather, Angela and Scott Geroux, in Garland. Despite that, Amy Grenier said, his parents and extended family members “were united” in efforts to support him financially and emotionally.

Cory Grenier was living at the Ranger Inn on outer Hammond Street in a room paid for by his parents, according to his stepmother.

When he did not check in with family members on Thursday, Nov. 11, and he wasn’t at the motel, they knew something was wrong. They went to the police, but felt officers did not take their concerns seriously because of their son’s history with drugs and alcohol.

Finally, on the afternoon of Friday, Nov. 12, Brewer police joined family members on the riverbank as the tide neared its highest point of the day and darkness fell. Cory Grenier’s ex-girlfriend found one of his shoes, and a police dog tracked his scent down to the river.

The police sent everyone home for the night and said the search would resume the next morning at low tide. Anxious family members began gathering at the riverbank about 8 a.m. to wait for police, who did not arrive until after Robert Grenier found his son’s body by accident, Amy Grenier said.

Antone on Sunday offered his condolences to the Grenier family for their loss.

“I understand their grief and want to send them condolences,” he said. “It’s tragic the way that it worked out.”

Antone said that after speaking with the Maine Warden Service and Marine Patrol on Thursday, the decision was made for two Marine Patrol officers to come up the river from the Penobscot Bay area to help in the search. Low tide was scheduled for about 10 a.m., he said.

“I feel in this entire situation over the years, we were all doing our best, but it was always put back on us — nobody would help us,” Amy Grenier said. “The cops can only do something if a person is having homicidal or suicidal ideations, and they must hear it from the person’s mouth, not from their families.”

She said that police are understaffed and underfunded, and comprehensive treatment programs for adolescents with drug problems are inadequate in Maine and not up to date in dealing with the recent spike in the use of highly addictive prescription painkillers such as oxycodone.

“There’s no long-term rehab for young people to relearn to live in a community,” the counselor said. “Cory lost four friends to drugs before he died.”

Amy Grenier said she and family members were told Cory Grenier consumed a half a bottle of vodka the night he died, but it will be several months before toxicology tests have been completed so it is not clear what he had in his system the night he drowned.

Said Amy Grenier, “Cory’s story isn’t the only story out there.”